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When I Survey the Wondrous Cross


When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God,
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down,
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o'er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Musical Setting

  • Hamburg, Lowell Mason, 1824
  • Eucharist, Isaac B Woodbury
  • Rockingham (Miller), arr. Edward Miller, 1790
  • Morte Christe, Emrys Jones


This hymn was written by Isaac Watts, and published in Hymns and Spiritual Songs in 1707. The hymnwriter Charles Wesley is reported to have said that he would have given up all his hymns to have written this one.

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